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Review: Almost Human’s “Perception” is Skewed

By on February 11, 2014
L-R: Dorian (Michael Ealy), Det. John Kennex (Karl Urban). Co. Cr: Liane Hentscher / FOX

L-R: Dorian (Michael Ealy), Det. John Kennex (Karl Urban). Co. Cr: Liane Hentscher / FOX

Almost Human’s latest episode was good enough, not a blaring misstep, but somehow disjointed.  It felt out of place in the series timeline.  Last week, our favorite human robot/couple met Dorian’s maker, Nigel Vaughn (guest star John Larroquette) and had some bonding moments showing their relationship could now be officially classified as friendship. This week it’s like they just met and no mention of the huge betrayal by the android creator.

The story was intriguing. A designer drug is killing some rich prep school girls.  Most of the girls are “chromes” – genetically enhanced humans that make the rest of us feel like schmucks who always get picked last for the team. In a huge surprise to no one in the universe, Detective Valerie Stahl is a chrome.  No wonder she’s so damn perfect. Back to the story … we see two prep girls die at the same time.  A friend of the pair, Lila, died in a drowning a few months earlier.  Could they be connected? Will Kennex and Dorian (Michael Ealy) solve this mystery case?  Will the detective chrome and cute cop finally go on a date?

Meanwhile, John Kennex (Karl Urban) is fighting his own demons.  He’s been going back to the recollectionist trying to remember details of the betrayal by his girlfriend, Anna, that left his team dead and his leg missing in action.  He’s taking some drug to try to open up “memory clusters.”  The drugs freak him out even causing him to crash his car in one scene.  I need some of that drug because my memory clusters are saying that he hasn’t thought twice about Anna since the pilot and hasn’t been on a revenge crusade that is suggested throughout this outing.  This would have been a perfect episode two or three, but as episode ten it’s like a puzzle piece that just doesn’t fit.

The case of the dead girls takes a surprising turn when we discover the drowning victim’s mother was behind the other girls’ deaths by hacking the chem printer that made the drug.  Turns out she blamed those darn chromes of foul play when they denied being with her daughter the night of her death.  Evidence suggested otherwise, so crazy mom upped the dosage of the designer drug, killing both girls.

Julian, Lila’s boyfriend, reveals another twist showing what the mother/daughter relationship was really like.  Lila was under so much pressure filled with her mother’s hopes and dreams. Nothing was ever good enough.  Julian shows a video of Lila’s last moments where she says she’s not good enough. She walks off into the ocean ending her own life.

By episode’s end, Kennex is being questioned by Internal Affairs for his recent trips to the recollectionist.  The way they go at it, can a pissing contest be far behind? In yet another plot twist it’s uncovered that some Russian nesting dolls Anna gave John is really a listening device. Someone’s been listening to him with the last upload coming just seven hours ago. Wow, what a cliffhanger! I’d be really excited if I thought Almost Human would pick up the story line in a week.  Instead I’m either expecting Kennex and Stahl to be married or Dorian to be just meeting Kennex for the first time.

These episodes are exciting and have their positives, but they are stand alone offerings.  We don’t have an easy ebb and flow found in the best of network television.  Surprising, considering one of the shows creators, J.J. Abrams, was the mastermind behind Lost, a series that forced you to watch every episode in order, not blink, and definitely don’t get up for a snack break until a commercial.

Next week’s episode “Disrupt” looks so good.  Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with tonight’s eppy.  Instead, the show goes Ray Bradbury on us showing a smart home morphing into a bad, bad home turning on its owners. No interwoven storylines, no continuation of hanging plot points, just another isolated story that I’ll be looking forward to.


  1. John

    February 11, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    I completely agree with the reviewer on this one. I heard that the episode order was shuffled resulting in the episode order we got. This would account for Stahl’s late development as a character and the radio silence on John’s past with his terrorist girlfriend. While I can’t say for sure that this is what actually happened, it might go some way towards forgiving the weird jumps in narrative to date.

    Lisa Casas I love your articles and come to ScreenSpy just to read em. Keep it up, please.

    • Lisa Casas

      February 12, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      Thanks, John! Glad you’re enjoying my reviews; I have so much fun writing them.

      Yeah, I want to LOVE Almost Human, but just can’t do it. They are running the episodes out of order and it shows. Maybe they’ll get their act together and turn this into a great show (before it gets canceled).

      Thanks for the feedback!